PM seeks NA debate to devise strategy against terrorism

ISLAMABAD: Following the brutal assassination of Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti on Wednesday morning, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani proposed on the floor of the National Assembly to hold a thorough debate in the House to devise a comprehensive strategy to counter such terrorist acts in future.National Assembly session which observed a two-minute silence to mourn the brutal killing of Shahbaz Bhatti was adjourned in line with the parliamentary traditions.Prime Minister Gilani while strongly condemning the assassination of Federal Minister proposed to convene a meeting of heads of parliamentary committees to discuss the issue.The Premier also proposed to call a meeting of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet involving civil and military bureaucracy to adopt effective measures to curb such incidents.    Shahbaz Bhatti was gunned down in I-8 Sector of the Federal Capital when he left for his office at about 11.00 a.m. According to his private secretary, the Minister’s car was intercepted by the attacker’s car that came from the opposite direction and one of the riders opened fire on the minister.  Consequently, Shahbaz Bhatti received a volley of bullets on his face and upper parts of the body.Soon after the incident, driver of minister’s car rushed him to the nearby Shifa Hospital where he succumbed to injuries.Shahbaz Bhatti was on his way to a meeting of Federal cabinet with no security guards when he came under attack, the PS said.His body was shifted to PIMS hospital for autopsy while his burial ceremony will be held after his brothers return home from Canada and Italy.Inspector General Police Islamabad Wajid Durrani told media persons that the assassinated minister was provided two squads each of police and FC for his protection but he (minister) himself directed not to provide protective squads at his residence.He said no squad for protection was accompanying him at the time of the tragic incident.
“He was intercepted by three to four persons riding a Mehran car and opened fire at him,” the IG Islamabad said.

During the brief National Assembly session the members rose from their seats and stood silent for two minutes.Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza condemned the assassination of the minister and termed it a tragic incident, which conveyed a negative impression to the international world.Earlier the federal cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani condemned the assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs and expressed the resolve for stern action against elements responsible for this heinous crime.The cabinet which observed two-minute silence for the departed soul, also expressed condolence with members of the bereaved family.Meanwhile the assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti has been widely condemned and people from different walks of life have termed the murder as the irreparable loss for the entire nation. The president, prime minister, federal ministers and people from different walks of life condemned the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti in the strongest terms and expressed sorrow over the assassination.

President Asif Ali Zardari vowed that such acts would not deter the government from eliminating extremism and terrorism.Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani condemning the killing  said such acts would not deter the government’s resolve to fight terrorism and extremism.Chairman Senate, Farooq H. Naek and Deputy Chairman Senate, Mir Jan Muhammad Khan Jamali, Speaker, National Assembly, Dr.Fehmida Mirza and Deputy Speaker, Faisal Karim Kundi, Leader of the House in the Senate, Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari and Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Wasim Sajjad have also condemned the brutal murder of the Minister and sympathized with the bereaved family.Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan while condemning the murder said this incident has badly tarnished the image of the country in comity of nations.Minister for Interior Rehman A Malik expressed his heartfelt grief over Shahbaz’s death and assured the bereaved family members that terrorists involved in this brutal killing would be taken to task – APP